Fiesta chili

Fiesta chili from Lively Up Your Self, a vegan food cart near downtown Bend.

Lively Up Your Self

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Food: Somehow, vegan food still seems like a polarizing subject, yet I’d wager there are omnivores galore who eat meat but don’t care how recently, if ever, the food in front of them had a pulse. Good food is good food, and so with that in mind, I went to Lively Up Your Self, an off the beaten path food cart behind Bunk+Brew, a hostel on Hawthorne Avenue near the Bend Parkway. I had the fiesta chili ($9) from the specials menu, which the proprietor said often shows up on that menu due to its popularity. Loaded with beans, corn and green onions, it came topped with avocado and a slice of cornbread. My dining companion opted for the regular-menu buffalo burrito, which was made with seitan and came with ranch, lettuce and tomato in a flour tortilla ($9). If the plant-based eats make you thirsty, smoothies are just $4, $3 for a kids’ size.

Atmosphere: This is a popular cart, but we were able to snag the small table under the heater, which the cart’s proprietor promptly turned on for us. More seating is available in Bunk+Brew’s courtyard.

Service: The proprietor was friendly and informative about the food, which was ready after a very reasonable wait. She told us of plans to move the cart from its current back-alley whereabouts into the courtyard of Bunk+Brew, the adjacent hostel, after its construction project is complete.

MORE INFO

Location: 42 NW Hawthorne Ave., Bend, 541-508-7559

Hours: 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday

Cuisine: Vegan

Price range: $5 to $14

— David Jasper, The Bulletin

David Jasper: 541-383-0349, djasper@bendbulletin.com

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